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Home again – and the April issue

by Helen on March 23, 2014

Phew… home again and a chance to relax in my nice comfy armchair with a bun and hot drink – served in my new mug – a gift from my lovely daughter …

Who very much appreciated all my decorating efforts over the last few days!  We all sat down to a fish and chip supper last night in their new dining room and, though there was still some painting left to do, it was all looking rather nice. The log burner gave a lovely cheerful glow, and before long the house was almost too warm and cosy!

I’m home again today, and for the last hour or so I’ve been catching up on my emails before I collect my furry friends from their kennels in half an hour or so.  Which gives me just enough time to tell you a little more about the April magazine.  This issue is really bright and cheerful – spring is definitely here now, and the colours I’ve used were inspired by this old school poster ….

I’ll be sending out a printable version of this poster to newsletter readers a bit later on this evening – I think it would make a lovely addition to your home this spring – perhaps as part of your Easter decorations?  One or two of the projects in the April Magazine will be good makes for Easter too ….

As well as all the projects above, you’ll discover an extract from “Heidi”, some vintage flower ideas, the next part of my “Making Money from Making” series and much more too.  The April issue is published on Thursday, and if you subscribe before then you’ll receive the March issue (and your free gifts/50% discount code) straight away, and then the April issue when it’s published – bargain!!   Just click here to learn more and subscribe.

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So much busy-ness!

by Helen on March 16, 2014

Rosie came to visit this weekend with her friend Naomi (aka Maid of Honour/Chief Bridesmaid).  With only just over 3 months until THE BIG DAY there was a lot to do and a great deal of busy-ness.  We visited the church and met with the flower ladies, while my new overlocker (serger) was put to very good use indeed ….

Wedding invitations!!  They are so beautiful – we are very pleased indeed with them.  Rosie originally wanted to print the invitations on an assortment of vintage hankies – but fell in love with a particular pretty little pink floral one.  So we scanned it, played around with photoshop for a while and when it was just right we uploaded the file and ordered several dozen from Spoonflower, printed onto Kona cotton.  Then more to do when the fabric arrived – cutting out the individual hankies and overlocking the edges with just the right shade of pink thread (very carefully chosen). Above are the finished results and we think they’ll make lovely keepsakes for the guests too.

As well as hankies, Rosie brought her pompom maker for me to borrow as I needed to make some bunny tails for my “Whoops! Bunny” project for the April magazine ….

Very fluffy!!  It’s amazing how much fluffiness you can achieve with the help of Ben & Daisy’s slicker brush!  We also practised our ganache-making skills – Rosie wants some chocolate ganache mice and bunnies to enjoy with coffee at the end of her wedding meal …..

They’ll be great for Easter too – I’ll include the recipe in the April magazine for chocaholics everywhere!  And it’s no wonder that with all this busy-ness going on, a certain young Newfie (who absolutely has to join in every activity) was totally worn out by the time Rosie & Naomi left earlier this evening ….

She’s so cute when she’s asleep.  But when she’s awake – a proper little pickle!!

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Has spring arrived?

by Helen on March 8, 2014

At last .. the sun is shining brightly in a clear blue sky and I have hung my washing on the line at the end of the garden for the first time this year.  The air is warm and the breeze is gentle and, with lots of squabbling and squawking,  the jackdaw family have returned to the nesting holes at the back of my house.  Could spring possibly have arrived I wonder? But, whether the warmer weather is here to stay, or (most probably) not, we’re making the most of this lovely sunny weather while it lasts.  

We enjoyed a lovely walk up the bridleway toward Stokenham this morning.  Look – no mud!!  And also look – isn’t Daisy grown up?  It’s hard to remember what a tiny fuzzy little creature she used to be ….

Not so very long ago!  I’ve been enjoying some spring stitching too with projects for the April magazine.  I’m in the middle of sewing the binding onto my Woodland Alphabet Quilt – and hope to be able to show you the finished quilt very soon.  But I took a little break from binding to complete ny Running Hare softie ….

I sometimes see brown hares in the fields above France Farm when I take Ben and Daisy to their favourite kennels, and I’ve been planning to make a hare softie for some time now.  I’ve mounted him on the base of a carved bird (the actual bird was damaged so I removed the base and painted it white) and decorated it with ribbon and ric-rac braid.  

Four wooden buttons secure his powerful legs (great for running and leaping) and a tiny dark brown button completes his nose.  He’s found a home on the table next to my laptop with one of the last of my beautiful camellia flowers – the bright pink is nearly over now – but the smaller, deeper pink camellia is just coming into bloom, so I shall have flowers for my vases for a while yet.  

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Woodland Alphabet Quilt wip

by Helen on March 5, 2014

Sometimes it feels so easy ….  I’m sure you know what I mean …. those rare occasions that you have an idea and translating it into fabric and thread just flows, everything happens right the first time.  It’s such a magic, wonderful feeling that for me at least, happens only rarely – usually I can be found muttering, unpicking, tweaking and re-stitching!  But there was no unpicking at all while I was stitching this project – my Woodland Alphabet Quilt …

It’s destined to be a gift for some friends who have been waiting for adoption for some time.  They’ve recently heard that they’ll be bringing home a little boy aged seven months in just a few weeks time.  I do hope they’ll like my gift…

It’s still very much a work in progress, but I finished piecing the top late this afternoon – just some borders around the edges and it’s onto the quilting.  I was inspired by the clean lines and appliqued text of the Baby Life Quilt design by V and Co that I found in the Moda Bakeshop

I love the uncluttered feel of this quilt and wanted to try to give my Woodland Alphabet Quilt the same feeling of simplicity and space – as well as including lots of  forest friends ….

 

I followed Vanessa Christenson’s tip of zig-zagging around my applique shapes with clear thread.  All my shapes were quite simple so there wasn’t too much huffing and puffing while pivoting around corners.  My favourite block is R for Rabbit (of course!) …. 

Though the hedgehog and mouse are cute too.  I’m considering whether to add a narrow patchwork border around all the squares before the final wider borders – if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions I’d love to hear them.  This project will be included in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew eMagazine and then I’ll be wrapping it up ready to send to my friends in time for their baby boy’s arrival.  

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